Thursday, July 12, 2007

Keep Your Voices Down!

Two awards in one week? Ah, shucks, folks. This one hails from Liv at She's finding her groove doing yoga, raising two kids and trying not to karate chop hemp wearing foodies during opening stretches. She is great at making me laugh and cry - often in the same post. Thanks, Liv.

Some of you might know that I'm taking an online writing class through I highly recommend it if you're interested in magazine writing, but it's not for the faint at heart. For $149, I might have learned to punch up my queries, but I also learned that my voice is really not so necessary in approaching magazines. The less "me" and the more "them", combined with solid references and interviews, is what nails the job. Coming from someone who made a living schmoozing first, then proving my writing second, this is a new phenomenon for me. And kind of an "ouch" moment. But it's some of the best advice I've gotten in a while. It really is about gearing the proposal and editor emails toward the audience, not selling me.

And so, this blog is coming off my signature line. Apparently editors who are being pitched the best organics for baby butt cream don't want to see a website referring to wacky mental health moms.

But as for you readers, you're stuck with my view point for a long time. When I have more moments to myself, I'll turn my voice into a book or a musical or whatever.

How about you all? Have you ever been told something that really sucked to hear, but then in thinking about it, realized that the person was right? That there's a time and place for your voice, but time to shut up and go with the program?

Oh... today's stranger comes to you via the cashier at K-Mart. I met her yesterday while buying gifts from the bottle fairy (another post). Joanna is on her third baby - two boys and a girl. She doesn't have to work, but she's doing it for sanity and for fun money. All her kids are 3 years apart. All gave up the bottle at 18 months. She thinks Stink is super tall for his age. The cashier next to her (didn't catch her name... can you believe it?) gave up working until both her girls were in kindergarten. She's been doing it ever since. All three of us decided that being a working mom can be a great example for young girls.

Now only if I can get past my personal voice and get into magazine mode, I can be a working mama, too.

If it doesn't happen, there's always cashiering at K-mart. But I look terrible in aprons. And while those cashiers liked me a lot for our two minute conversation, they'd be wanting to fire me the minute I held up the line making jokes about the lubricant on sale. "Oooh, gotta love those peanut butter and K-Y jelly sandwiches!" (I didn't say they were good jokes, I just said I'd tell them. Shut up.)


Dapoppins said...

I have been told things about my writing that i didn't want to hear. Lots of times. I hate it when that happens.

But you didn't find out the kids names? Or did you? I can't believe that you remember all this stuff about random people. Amazing. simply amazing.

Em said...

Mama P - The Musical! I can hardly wait!!

Meanwhile, I love your voice, so I'm glad I get to read the real you - even the KY jokes. Besides, I bet you look awesome in an apron. And heels.

Oh, wait, that's a different fantasy. Never mind. :)

liv said...

It's odd that passthezoloft hasn't got mass appeal. I mean, all of us moms are struggling. There seem to be 2 camps of us: Those who feel the insipid need to make it all seem perfect, or those of us with an eye for the absurd.

Liza's Eyeview said...

You deserve the awards my dear.

By the way, check this link out:
you might be interested.

Wether you talkabout you or about others, I love reading your posts.

And oh, check out my post titled "I Love You This Hard". It'll lead you to a post that I think you'll enjoy :)

JaniceNW said...

I was told the exact same thing by my high school journalism teacher a gazillion years ago. My writing was too much "my voice". Which is why blogging is awesome. I have my sarcasm and twisted view and if people don't like it they can click the x.


Gretchen said...

Me thinks you will be fab! I can't wait for Mama P the musical. Would you come over and feed my kids, too. :) Yes, I'm referring to Em's post. Enjoy each part of the process, even the parts you don't think you'll like. Can't wait to be your biggest fan.

amusing said...

I've already filed it away. Thanks for the free advice. I owe you one. I'm stepping back into the workforce after 10 years. Just finished a daring resume that includes penguin wrangling and world famous photographers b/c I'm trying to prove I'm cool to the groovy cool place I want to work. We'll see what they think. Fingers crossed.

Pam said...

I have heard difficult things about myself, and after the initial pissy reaction, I am usually grateful.

I vote that you turn your blog into a book, I'll buy a copy!

onetallmomma said...

I'm routing for the musical.

And yes, I just got some hard advice from my bother-in-law. I asked for it. "Ash, stopped wasting time with the writing, the book idea, the on-line dating consultant business idea and focus on getting a job that will bring cash into your home."


Cheryl Wray said...

You deserve all the awards!! Your blog is TOO fun!!
Enjoy the writing class! I have taught freelance writing at conferences and community colleges and always enjoy meeting and helping other writers.
Have a great evening!

Susie Q said...

You know...when I feel like the day is just too long and I have dusted one too many unnecessary pieces of
shtuff around the house, I know where I can find a great laugh.
Ky and peanut butter....I will neveah look at peanut butter the same way ever again. Oohhh....


Mama P said...

Dapoppins - I know, can you believe I didn't get the kids' names? Next time.

Em - I'm sorry to bust your fantasy, but if I wore an apron it would only mean that Armageddon was hitting.

Liv - You're very right about "there seem to be 2 camps of us: Those who feel the insipid need to make it all seem perfect, or those of us with an eye for the absurd." I suppose that's what books are for? I don't know. I'll figure it out.

Liza - I will look up your link soon. Thank you for the heads up.

Janice - Did you ever forgive your journalism teacher?

Gretchen - You will get front row seats for the musical. Along with HB and DQ. I will let your husband stay home with my husband and geek out on AOE.

Amusing - I always love your viewpoint.

Pam - I will write a book, but I will publish that article about you if it's the last thing I do.

OTM - I want to kill your brother in law. Hell, at six one, maybe I'll just sit on him and smush him.

Cheryl - What did you write?

Susie Q - Glad I can be of assistance. Now off to your KY jelly and porcelain rabbits.